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Tuesday, March 09, 2010

"Persist" by Peter Clothier is an Inspiration to Creative People Everywhere.

Peter Clothier is a long time expert in art, a fellow dharma practitioner and fellow blogger. You can find his blog over at, "The Buddha Diaries." He has written a great, easy to read book titled, Persist: In Praise of the Creative Spirit in a World Gone Mad with Commerce. As both a Buddhist and an artist I was pleased to read aspects of Buddhism within his advice on how to be a creative person/artist in this modern world of commerce.

I especially liked how the author compassionately stated that just because your art doesn't sell, doesn't mean you're not a good artist. That is a very brief summation of a lot of the book so I encourage you to read it cover to cover for yourself but for a struggling painter like myself who doesn't make consistent money from my art--it's nice to hear. Especially coming from someone who has been in, "the biz" for as long as Peter.

I use to think that if my art didn't make me a millionaire that I wasn't a true and talented artist. Peter helped me rediscover doing art simply because it's my passion and brings me joy. I guess you could say he teaches to, "Paint canvas and carry turpentine" as in the Zen saying, "Chop wood, carry water" to remind us all to be present in the moment and to focus solely on whatever activity that moment finds ourselves engaged in. I also really appreciated his advice on meditating before doing your art to clear your mind of doubts about your talent and that critical voice that says, "You're not doing it right." It is clear how the meditation can clear your mind for the creative ideas to flow freely in the moment. This is a great book for anyone interested in being a creative person in a modern world that has boiled art down to mere commodity.

~Peace to all beings~

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4 comments:

turquoisemoon said...

You know...as an artist, there's another problem I sometimes have. I start selling the piece before it's finished. I've noticed that at that point my energies and focus go into the selling vs the creation. I'm certainly not in the present. Thank you for bringing the Buddha Diaries blog to my attention. I think I need to read his book..thanks again!

Buddhist_philosopher said...

Great point, turquiosemoon. I, too, in artistic and more scholarly works, will begin 'negotiating' with a buyer/reader rather than letting my own vision finish out the work. I love the recommendation of simple meditation - so profound, so true! If only we could be told this, and follow it, more often. :) Thank you, James, for the post and for persisting in your art work. Thanks, too to Peter for what will surely be a wonderful and mindful book.

Amanda said...

OMG! May I repost your post on my blog? In the past couple of weeks I've been talking about the dilemma I've been having with earning money making art. It's my profession, I love it, I'm good at it, and I've recently been trying to find more ways to tie it more closely to my Buddhist practice. I'm new to meditation, having started just last year. I have a long way to go, and started my blog to document my journey. Any advice you have would be most welcome! Thanks :)

They call him James Ure said...

Amanda:

Feel free to repost it :)

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